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Police Investigating Lilburn-Area Homicide

Man was shot and killed at apartments near U.S. 78 in unincorporated Lilburn.

Gwinnett Police are investigating the fatal shooting of a man who was found dead in a breezeway at a Lilburn-area apartment complex Tuesday afternoon.

Police say the man, identified as 19-year-old Angelo Larocca, was found around 1:50 p.m. at the 1000 building of the Columns at Paxton Apartments at 4305 Paxton Lane. This is an unincorporated area just off of U.S. 78 between Killian Hill Road and Lake Lucerne.

The man was found by a courtesy officer doing routine off-duty patrols in the complex, Gwinnett Police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith said. Smith said witnesses heard “two or three shots” shortly before the body was found.

The victim did not live at the apartments, said Smith. Nobody is in custody, Smith said, nor is there a known motive.

“We don’t really know why he showed up here at this point,” Smith said around 4 p.m. The man was not on anyone’s lease.

Smith said the courtesy officer, a Gwinnett PD officer who lives in the complex, did not hear the shots, “but he probably just missed it.” The body was found in the stairwell between the ground and second floors in the breezeway, Smith said.

Smith said investigators are working leads. “I wouldn’t go as far as to say we have any concrete suspect, identity [of a suspect] or vehicle information, but they’re actively working a lot of leads.”

Smith added, “I don’t know if this case is related to any other crime.”

Dozens of residents gathered around the scene Tuesday afternoon. That included a group of people who were apparently friends. Some held each other, while others sat in shock.  

"Dude, my friend just got killed, I have no comment," one friend of the victim said to a Patch reporter as he paced across the parking lot.

Neighbors also congregated on the sidewalks, forming their own opinions about what happened, and adding their frustration over what they feel has been an increase in crime in their neighborhood.  

 “I’ve been here for about a year and a half now, and there was one break-in. In the past month and a half we’ve had three break-ins and an assault,” resident Tasha Dadswell said.

Another resident, who chooses to remain anonymous, said that his neighbor's home was broken into a few days ago at 11:30 a.m.  

Kiersten Anderson, a former military police officer, said she is frustrated with the increase in crime.

“I feel like walking up to the front office and asking for my security deposit back," she said.  According to Anderson, the gates to the complex remain open during the day and do not close until around 9 p.m.

Return to Patch for further updates.

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